Latvia’s Ministry of Defense decided to purchase SISU GTP 4×4 light and medium-range tactical vehicles produced by Finnish truck manufacturing company Sisu Auto, according to Delfi.lv citing the unofficial source in government.
Is expected that Latvian Defense Ministry (MoD) will soon sign a $220 million (220M Euro) contract to purchase SISU GTP 4×4 tactical vehicles that meet the operational and technical requirements of the National Armed Forces.
New SISU GTP 4×4 light and medium high-mobility armoured four-wheel drive (4×4) tactical vehicles will significantly promote the tactical mobility of Latvian Armed Forces. Tactical mobility is a key feature of combat readiness of army units and shortage of transport platforms across units of National Armed Forces diminishes their ability to complete the identified tasks.
These vehicles will also play an important role in implementation of artillery, air defence and National Guard development projects. These vehicles have to be suitable for personnel, cargo transportation, command and control, and medical support needs. Vehicles must also be armoured and suitable for necessary weapons.
The procedure for the purchase of 4×4 light and medium-sized tactical vehicles has been organized in two stages. In the first stage, 12 candidates submitted applications for participation in the tender procedure, of which six were nominated for the second round by the procurement commission of the Ministry of Defense.
In the second phase of the negotiation procedure, four offers were received: Oy Sisu Auto (Finland) – GTP 4×4, AM General (USA) – HMMWV, Paramount Group (South Africa) – Marauder LAV and Otokar (Turkey) – Cobra.
According to the procurement procedure, representatives of the National Armed Forces conducted testing of all offered vehicles in May.
Testing was focused on technical performance of vehicles and whether they meet the technical needs of National Armed Forces. Vehicles were tested both on public roads and in off-road conditions. This was the first time in history of National Armed Forces that it had to evaluate such vehicles, and proposed vehicles were tested by experts from almost all branches of National Armed Forces.
The SISU GTP 4×4 armoured vehicle specially designed for Latvia and is equipped with independent suspension system and differential locks in each wheel, providing SISU GTP with mobility characteristics that are necessary beyond the paved roads, in severe off-road terrain, whatever the operational environment might be. A payload of the vehicle in off-road conditions is, subject to the chosen protection level, up to 4500 kg.
The length of the vehicle is 6m, while the height and width are 2.55m and 2.5m respectively. The vehicle has a wheelbase of 3.8m and ground clearance of 400mm. Its gross weight is approximately 14,000kg.
The armoured hull of the vehicle offers a high degree of protection against ballistic threats. It provides up to STANAG 4569 level one protection against ballistic threats, and STANAG 4569 standard protection against land mine explosions.